Today, on National Indigenous Peoples’ day, it is a good time to mention that Bill C-15 has passed and royal assent is coming soon. To quote the bill’s summary, it will require that the government of Canada “take all measures necessary to ensure that the laws of Canada are consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP),” a human rights instrument focused on Indigenous rights.
The Line 5 Pipeline is 68 years old, operated by Enbridge and carries 87 million litres of fossil fuel per day, running from Superior, Wisconsin through Michigan and ending in Sarnia, Ontario. The pipeline also runs through the Great Lakes which are very important for the millions and millions of people around them, supporting recreation, agriculture and supplying drinking water.
When Toronto350 graded the federal Speech from the Throne in September 2020, we considered whether it represented an appropriate response to the interlocking health, economic and climate crises. The 2021 Budget puts funding behind the Throne Speech’s promises, and so we ask again, does this Budget support Canadians in a just recovery and a transition to a low-carbon economy?
As Ontario teachers, we work hard to prepare young people for the challenges of the future. In a world ravaged by the climate crisis, that can’t mean only teaching, mentoring and coaching. It also means doing our part to ensure that students will graduate into a world with a livable climate.
Unfortunately, our pension savings are working against the clean energy future our students need.
Our $205 billion Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP) continues to invest billions of our savings in climate-polluting fossil fuels, and only a small percentage in climate solutions.
First published on thestar.com under Opinion on Tue., Feb. 9, 2021
In 2020, two different bills were tabled in the House of Commons to support climate change accountability. The first, the Climate Change Accountability Act (Bill C-215), was introduced by MP Kristina Michaud of the Bloc Québécois in February 2020. The second, the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12), was introduced by the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change in November 2020.
So who wrote the better bill?Read more
You’ve read about how Canada’s major banks use your savings to finance fossil fuels.
You’ve joined the BankSwitch campaign and told your bank that you will be closing your accounts unless they clean up their act.
And now, since your bank hasn’t made a lot of changes, you’re wondering where you should take your business instead.
We think local credit unions are a great option.
In mid-March, we began this seven-part series on the upcoming federal Budget with a self-evident statement, “COVID-19 has shown us that people’s health and wellbeing must be prioritized.” Events of the last weeks have underlined this truth with devastating clarity. Even as a disastrous third wave destroys lives and families, overwhelmingly in working class and racialized communities, access to vaccinations has been grossly uneven, favouring the affluent.
On the brink of Monday’s Budget, the need for strong social infrastructure, and a resilient, sustainable economy that supports a livable future in the midst of ongoing and coming crises, has never been greater.
Canada’s use and export of fossil fuels contributes disproportionately to the costs and damages caused by GHG emissions. Extracting and exporting resources has made the country wealthy. At the same time, countries that have benefited the least from extractive economies are experiencing impacts, like food insecurity and forced migration, first and most. Canada needs to do its fair share to redress both social and ecological harms, contributing to an equitable and just transition globally.
Finance and public policy are the biggest drivers of change in most industries, and the oil and gas industry is no different. Banks have often been overlooked as a lever for change. Their complicity in profiting from climate disaster is now coming into sharper focus with groups like Rainforest Action Network and Bank Track publishing annual reports about the extent to which these institutions are funding fossil fuel extraction.
Canada continues to lose more critical land, freshwater and oceanic habitats than it conserves every year. Habitat loss problematically increases ecosystem GHG emissions through the release of ecosystem carbon, reductions in the carbon storage capacity of our landscapes, and the loss of critical climate adaptation and resilience services. Canada’s response to the biodiversity crisis is being significantly limited by these feedback loops. These impacts are also limiting Canada's ability to leverage nature-based solutions to help meet our climate change adaptation and mitigation goals.
At the same time, ongoing colonialism continues to override Indigenous rights and land stewardship. We see this evidenced across the country as Indigenous land-defenders stand on the frontlines, confronting destructive projects that are backed by industry and government. Ongoing environmental racism also shows in high pollution rates, as seen in Grassy Narrows and Canada’s Chemical Valley.
Systems that perpetuate harm need to be called out and ended at the same time investments in programs like Indigenous Land Guardians, projects like those highlighted in Power to the People and support for non-market mechanisms that ensure biodiversity protection increase. As noted in the Indigenous Leadership Initiative blogpost, UN Biodiversity Report Calls for Greater Role for Indigenous Peoples, “If Canada places Indigenous-led conservation at the core of its biodiversity approach, we can sustain even more lands and waters.”